Conlon recalls head blow

Clare hurler John Conlon has spoken for the first time about the concussion he suffered during last month’s Munster semi-final and which resulted in the Clonlara man taken to hospital with dangerously high blood pressure.

Manager Davy Fitzgerald voiced his displeasure over the handling of the incident against Cork at the Gaelic Grounds, revealing the Clare medical staff and management were concerned about the wing-forward at the time.

“It happened about five minutes in,” said Conlon yesterday. “I got a bang in the head and I don’t remember any of the game. I had to go to hospital because my blood pressure went up over 200. But, thankfully, I was fine. I was 10 days out of training but I came around. I think they finally realised after about 18 or 20 minutes when I asked which way I was playing.”

Conlon’s case highlights once again the wider issue of head injuries in sports, though it has been more prominent in codes such as rugby and American football, and the protocols needed to minimise the risks involved.

Assuring the best of medical treatment for players in the heat of championship encounters isn’t as straightforward as it may sound, however, although Conlon’s exposure to greater danger for so long stresses the need for vigilance.

“Maybe if I was given a chance when the incident occurred. Play went on. The free was taken straight away. If they had got that second to assess me thoroughly they could have got me off the field.”


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